Date of Conferral







Sandra Rasmussen


The purpose of this study was to investigate depression and psychotherapy for adults who are in long-term care facilities. Depression is a serious problem for the elderly in general and for residents of nursing homes in particular. The current study drew on the dynamic stress vulnerability approach to explain how illness occurs in older people, using evidence obtained from the biological, social, and psychological domains with respect to depression. The research question addressed the difference in posttreatment depressive symptoms among 6 types of psychotherapy as measured by the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HRSD)? The 6 therapy techniques were (a) cognitive behavioral therapy, (b) supportive psychotherapy, (c) life review therapy, (d) reality oriented therapy, (e) mindfulness training, and (f) affect regulation therapy. A 1-group pretest-posttest research design was used with archival data from de-identified medical records. The analysis of this study controlled for pretreatment depressive symptoms as measured by the HRSD. A statistically significant main effect of psychotherapy was found, revealing a difference in posttreatment depressive symptoms as measured by the HRSD between at least 1 pair of the 6 types of psychotherapy after controlling for pretreatment HRSD. The covariate, pretreatment HRSD, was also statistically significant, indicating a relationship between pretreatment HRSD and posttreatment HRSD when controlling for psychotherapy group. This research study contributes to the breadth of information concerning efficacious treatments for depression among the elderly in nursing homes and can assist researchers, nursing homes, and doctors to promote positive social change by better treating the depressive symptoms in a pretreatment environment.